Before you begin the process of letting your property, you need to be thoroughly prepared. There is a lot to do and plenty to think about before you can think about getting your new tenants through the door.
First impressions count for everything when it comes to property, so it's vital your home looks its best for potential tenants. Maintaining this condition for all your viewings will give you the best chance of letting your home and achieving the best possible price. So, what preparations should you make?
UK's No. 1 Letting Agency in Shrewsbury, Martin & Co. says landlords insurance is essential for anyone who is thinking of renting out their property. Property cover protects your buy-to-let investment against common perils such as subsidence, flood, fire, and lightning.
Property cover helps you pay for the cost of repair or rebuilding any damage from the stated causes. You also have the option to include loss of rent income (arising from the damage) as part of the cover.
Contents insurance. Contents insurance provides protection against damage to the contents (such as furniture, white goods, pictures) that you place in the rental property for use by the tenant as part of the tenancy agreement. Landlord's content insurance protects only your items, not the contents owned by the tenant. Insurance companies have two types of cover on offer, standard or accidental. The scope of protection is usually more flexible with accidental cover.
Landlord liability insurance. Liability insurance offers protection on other aspects of your buy-to-let operation. Protection against suits for damages and litigation costs is needed, in case your tenants suffer injury because of dangerous things in your property. You may also need cover for legal costs for suits filed to evict errant tenants or recover unpaid rent.
Specialist rental guarantee insurance is also advisable, products which cover your property from entering into arrears, not your tenants are most desireable.
Unlike home insurance, which allows only 30 days where the property remains unoccupied, landlord insurance for buy-to-let allows an unoccupied period of 90 days. If anything happens to the property within this period, the insurance company will still accept claims for damages.
You can purchase a policy that covers your entire portfolio of properties, if your buy-to-let operation includes several properties. This may reduce your overall premium costs. Still, it is good practice to look for the most cost-effective arrangement and compare the cost of a single policy on multiple properties or separate policies.